Skimboarding opens up a whole new way of surfing. It draws on everything you’re used to with your surfboard surfing and adds a crazy adrenaline rush of speed, freedom and fun. Skimboarding uses its own board type, a skimboard, and Exile Skimboards is a leader in creating the most innovative boards to quickly give you mastery of this ultra fun style of surfing.
You can see the skimboarders have their boards held out, ready to start their run and jump on. This is different than surfboard surfing where you paddle to catch a wave
Instead of being in the water paddling for a wave like on a surfboard, with skimboard surfing you usually start your ride standing on the shore. You wait for a wave to break and wash up on the sand. As the water slowly settles you get your skimboard, run, throw your board down and jump on. There’s an exhilarating rush of high speed as your board literally flies over the receding shallows and speeds you out into the unbroken wave shorey. Once on the wave your skimboard’s speed keeps you going to do the most radical high speed moves you can imagine.
Power carve above, or air below. Any move you can do on your surfboard you can do on your skimboard. Only faster. You can also incorporate skate moves. Note the way these two moves are performed right on the sand
Any move you do in surfing you can do in skimboarding. Bottom turns, re-entries, top turns, floaters, airs, chop hops, flips. Any move from skate boarding too is open to you.
Unlike a surfboard, which, in comparison, is long and thick, your skimboard is ultra short and ultra thin. Where your Fish or shortest small wave board might be in the 5′ length range and say 2 1/4″ thick your skimboard can be in the 3′ to 4′ length range and 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. A skimboard is a highly specialised design and innovating skimboard design is where Exile excels.
Construction of skimboards was previously limited to slabs of wood ply. Now Exile has brought advanced tech and design
Older skimboards used to be solid ply wood, like a skateboard deck. This heavy material with limited flex would be cut into a rough oval outline and that was the basic skimboard. The edges may be rounded off, rarely would rocker or curve be added. There’s no fins.
Now Exile give you advanced skimboard designs and tech.
Exile skimboards have foam cores. This gives you key advantages. It’s ultra light so you get great float and lift. With less weight in your board your use of the energy of the wave is maximised. The foam absorbs vibration tooinstead of passing it through so you get stability.
Flex loaded up in the curling section, now recoiling to flat for high speed. Check this move is right on the sand
The foam also gives great flex, much more flex that wood ply. Flex is vital as it allows your board to fit in the critical sections of the wave where the wave is curved the most. You don’t run your skimboard out onto the flats like a normal surfboard as it would sink under you. With the Exile flex you keep your board in the wave power of the pocket.
The flex you get with the foam core is managed by glassing. Exile skimboards are glassed like a surfboard. Advanced materials including epoxy resin, fibreglass and carbon are used. So you can get differing and controlled stiffness with light weight and strength. How might you use this? A more flexi board will give you great moves, short length rides and short arc turns, great for tricks and general surfing. Stiffer boards will give you flat out speed and the ability to draw out longer turns covering more distance. For example if you need to cover distance over a lot of sand a stiffer board will drive farther and faster. A stiffer board will also hold it’s line in big powerful waves where the wave has a wall.
Differing board outlines give you different riding characteristics. More width towards the tail gives more speed. Swallow tail gives great carving. Double enders are good all rounders and good for tricks
Exile gives you different outlines also great for different riding styles and different size skimboarders. If you’re heavier the egg shape with more width in the rear will distribute your weight over more area so you won’t bog. A narrower outline is great if you’re a smaller lighter rider as you’re not carrying unnecessary volume and area to hinder your moves. The narrow nose gives absolute freedom to throw the board anywhere without limitation. A wide nose is better for tricks such as reverses and spins as it gives you speed through the move regardless of which end of the board is in contact with the wave.
Exile has a huge range of models, specifications and designs
A longer board can also give you the ability to move forward or back on the board opening up a wider range of moves. For example moving forward for looser spin moves. Moving back for power carves.
Exile also give you the options for board shapes with attributes similar to surfboards. You’ve got pin tail, swallow tail, round tail models all available to choose from to match your surfing preference.
Rails & Rocker
Rails and rocker are the two more important differences and advantages Exile designs give you over traditional skimboards. Compared to the blocky unformed rails of a plywood board the Exile foam is shaped to a specific shape proven to give you performance advantages. For example there’s tucked under edges so you don’t catch and get super smooth uninterrupted flow. Even thought tucked under there’s still an edge that gives you precise control that you can drive off to throw buckets of spray.
Above, the rail of the board as the tucked under edge doesn’t catch though almost fully buried. It still engages and drives throwing heaps of spray. Below, the rocker helps you stay in the power pocket
The rocker gives you lift in the nose and tail. This also stops your board catching. For example as you’re rotating through a 360 the nose or tail won’t catch but will glide over foam and chop. With rocker, by moving your back foot back over the tail rocker your nose will lift helping you drive up the wave face for power turns. Putting both feet towards the flatter middle rocker gives you a heap of speed great for transitioning between and setting up giant moves.
You aren’t limited to shoreys. Exile Skimboards give you versatility to get you out into as big a wave as you want to take on. Check the shot below pulled from a video of Brad Domke on an absolute monster on his Exile Skimboard
While we’ve mentioned skimboarding from the sand on shoreys, you can also use your skimboard to catch unbroken waves outside that you paddle into like on a normal surfboard. This may sound like it won’t work too well as the small thin board would limit you from catching decent waves. However the right skimboard will get you into absolutely incredible rides on any size wave you want.
Exile’s versatility opens up more surfing options including wake surfing
Skimboards can also be used to wakeboard behind a boat and Exile have models specific for riding these fun easy running walls. So if you’re into any type of water skiing taking a skimboard along will give you an exciting and responsive way to surf the wake waves rather than using a normal bulky surfboard.
Along with versatile use Exile also produces fully custom boards and models. These custom boards can be made to your specific characteristics, wave options or surfing style. There’s also custom models based on the features Exile’s team riders and World Champions have proven. These custom models are a great way to fast rack elite level performance into your skimboarding.
Above, Exile has a full range of accessories to optimise your skimboard and to make your skimboard your own. Below, check the use of the arch bar running the full of the board to the nose. Not something you see on a surfboard
Along with great boards you need those additional accessories to tweak your performance and make your board your own. Exile has what you need to make your board work for you. For example there’s grip. Some is like the grip you’re used to for your surfboard such as a tail and front pad. However there’s also grip bars similar to the arch bar in your tail pad however these bars can be used anywhere on your Exile skimboard from the tail, to the mid section to the nose to give you a central point of super traction from which to drive big moves.
Exile also has board bags to keep your skimboard or skimboard quiver safe and snug, quick to hand and easy to travel with. There’s also branded accessories and cool wax for your skimboard called Eel Snot – what more could you want.
Exile Fills Your Surfing LIfe
Skimboarding fills out the missing link in your surfing life. You’ve got your Gun for giant waves. Step Up for bigger surf. Daily Driver for everyday. Fish and Small Wave for smaller stuff, and now your skimboard for those crazy shoreys breaking right on the sand. You also get the added versatility of being able to wakeboard.
An Exile skimboard opens the door to this great style of surfing. So you get a proven high performance platform that will get you right into the fun.
Check our full range of Skimboards at Manly Surfboards>Skimboards